Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Living With Death
When I look in the mirror sometimes all I can see is death. Death and sadness reflected in my eyes. Living with death - it's more of an oxymoron but it's also something I am quite adept at. I've carried two precious boys in my body for about eight months of my life between the two pregnancies knowing that at any second there was a very real chance of my babies dying. Wondering if that day would be the day, or the day after, or the one after that. It has now been one year and four months since the last day I have had to wonder and I will never have to wonder again because my childbearing years have finally come to a close. Now I'm left wondering about many other things. What the long term impact of those months is for myself, my husband, my marriage and my children. I don't believe our children will have a long term impact resulting from our decision to carry Eli to term, his death and absence have made a far bigger impact. My husband is a rock and like most rocks, he doesn't talk much. So I honestly don't know what emotional effect watching his wife carry two babies that we knew would not survive has had on him. I don't know what seeing the sadness on my face or the tears in my eyes did to him. I imagine the impact is probably more than I could guess. Our marriage has been strengthened in a way that most couples will never experience. A great amount of stress on such a bond can do that, either it'll break under the pressure or find a way to stay together. We have done the latter. Yet I still wonder if the experiences will produce side effects in the future when we least expect it. Myself, who knows? Most of the time I am fine. As fine as any one woman who has given birth to six children yet watched two die in her arms hours or minutes after their birth can be. I doubt that anyone who doesn't know this little gem about me would ever be able to guess. There are no visible scars. So I go on living with death. I am blessed to have given birth to both of my sons alive and to not know what it is like to truly carry death. I just carry the fear and realization of death and those did not leave my body nine years ago nor one year ago. I just go on living.